On the recommendation of the Historical Committee, and after nomination by the Board of Directors, a unanimous vote by those present at the Annual Meeting on February 12, 2018 Tay Perry was elected to the Outrigger’s highest status…that of Life Membership. This special honor is bestowed in recognition of exceptionally long and faithful service to the Club.
Tay Perry’s family arrived in Hawaii in 1870. His father was a member of the Outrigger for many years but resigned when the family moved to Lanikai. He was a founding member of the Lanikai Canoe Club and became a superb canoe builder and restorer, paddler and coach. When his father was accused of nepotism when selecting crew members for the Lanikai Canoe Club, he encouraged his sons to join the Outrigger: they joined in 1955, became paddlers, and incidentally, repeatedly beat Lanikai.
From his father, Tay learned to build and restore koa canoes and to this day, it remains his passion.
In 1964, when the Club moved to its present site. Tay, newly married, living in Kailua, and having a small income, resigned from the Club and again paddled for Lanikai. In 1989, he rejoined the Outrigger and since then, has paddled, coached, built and restored koa canoes for the Club, and also served on several committees.
In 2000 Tay led a group of Club members to Kauai, where they found and returned one of the Club’s most treasured koa canoes, Ka Mo’i, to the Outrigger. Tay and several others spent over eleven hundred hours restoring it after which it was hung from the ceiling of the Lounge, where it remains to this day. The popular gathering place was renamed Ka Moi Boathouse,
Tay has also designed and built from scratch many of our canoe racing trophies, as well and remodeling and refinishing others. He also built the miniature fishing canoe which is now in the Koa Lanai.
Tay not only works on canoes, but paddles and coaches as well. He has been closely associated with the Canoe Racing Committee and served as Chairman in 1996. Tay paddled on six state championship crews and has crossed the Molokai Channel innumerable times.
He has also coached crews in both regatta and distance races, the Master’s Women winning first place in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai in 1990.
Tay has been a member of the Historical Committee for the past 24 years and is its present Chairman. He also served on the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Board of Directors for six years and on the Beach and Water Safety Committee, Judges of Election, and Fitness Committee. Life membership is a most fitting award for Tay.